Image by Tyler Rivera

Imagine coming to a new country and trying to speak the language they’ve been speaking their entire lives. For foreign exchange students, this is reality.

HHS’s Kathleen Pfannstiel is from Germany. She was taught to speak British English in school, but decided to spend a year in America, where we speak our own version of English. Kathleen, or Kathy, has had to overcome many struggles speaking with people. Her lack of experience in the English language prevents her from understanding other people, and her accent prevents people from understanding her. It took a lot of guts for Kathy to come here and try to communicate with everyone. It’s a lot to handle all at once.

Kathy explains how much confidence it took to bring herself into a new country without any familiar faces. She came here alone, and had to be confident enough to walk down the halls of a school with kids that don’t even speak the language she grew up with. With just a couple months left, Kathy has learned to accept her accent, and decided to be confident in herself as a German exchange student.

-Written, recorded, and edited by Amber Poer